What a busy Saturday. It was supposed to be filled with fun and sports. Today, I had planned to shoot my first swimming meet of the season at Lahaina Aquatic then the MIL paddling regatta at Canoe Beach. Then head to Kahului and shoot pivotal soccer matches at Maui High. There was also a girls JV softball game between Lahainaluna and Maui High at nearby Patsy Mink field, so I was going to shoot that, too.
Unfortunately, today was a very sad day for Lahaina town. Earlier in the week, William "Uncle Billy" Gonzales was killed in a tragic incident at Canoe Beach. While in the ocean offshore diving to put in lane markers for an upcoming canoe regatta, he was struck and run over by a boat. He was pulled from the water but died shortly thereafter at the hospital. As a result of his tragic and untimely death, the MIL canoe regatta originally scheduled to be held in Kihei was moved to Canoe Beach. The MIL schools and racing officials planned to honor Uncle Billy prior to the start of the race.
On a more personal note, the father of a childhood, long-time friend and neighbor of mine passed away after a long struggle post-stroke. His services was also on Saturday.
So priorities have to be evaluated. And family and friends come first.
No sports in the morning for me. This morning was a time to spend with family and friends, celebrating the life of a man I had known all my life. And to provide support for literally my oldest friends at their time of loss. And although I could not make it to Canoe Beach, my thoughts and prayers were with the Gonzales' family, too.